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I'm 42. I look shocking. Help with hair please.

(29 Posts)
SmileAndNod Fri 14-Nov-14 17:12:55

I caught sight of myself in the mirror whilst out today and was horrified at what stared back at me. I look easily ten years older, grey and haggard.

I'll start with a question about my hair if I may. I'm looking overdue a haircut. I was planning on growing it (usually a short choppy bob) and maybe getting it lightened, as it's naturally very dark, but years of covering roots has led to a dark build up which I think is making me look worse. However. My hair has started to fall out. Had a baby last year but it's still coming out by the handful, and is also greasy and lifeless. I think I may be peri menopausal - does this affect your hair? I've been to the doctors and everything ok - she's put it down to stress.

I want to get my hair done but I'm too embarrassed to ring my hairdresser. I think I'd cry. I want to feel glam again. No amount of make up is fixing anything these days. I used to look passable, now I generally look a mess no matter how much time I spend not that I have much of that

Any suggestions for any high street products that will bring my sparkle back - at least to my hair?

Thank you

Emstheword Fri 14-Nov-14 17:24:57

For a start, I bet you don't look anything like as bad as you think! After having a baby I just think most of us spend very little time on our appearance so it's a bit of a shock when we come out of the baby trance and look in the mirror! I know you said you'd rather do something at home, but I really urge you not to. A good professional colourist will be able to advise what colours will suit your skin tone and hair type and will prescribe colour that will take years off you. Same with a good haircut. I really believe you can't cut corners and home colour unless you've already pretty much got the style and colour you want. If you're really uncomfortable, go to a different hairdresser and pop in for a consultation....you never even have to go back if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Once you've sorted the hair, you can book in for a free consultation in a dept store or a beauty salon will help you choose new make up to match your new look. Changing hair colour drastically sometimes makes previous makeup look odd. I'm sure you will look fab with a few tweaks and you'll start to feel your sparkle coming back very soon after. Go on bite the bullet! flowers

SmileAndNod Fri 14-Nov-14 17:30:48

Ooh sorry I wasn't clear. There's no way I would do my hair myself, but I've known my hairdresser so long that I'm a bit ashamed to take my hair into her - its just gone downhill in the last few months. As much as I'd like it lightened I think it's going to be out of my price rangesad.

I'm feeling very old and tired and well a bit dowdy. I currently use Aussie mega shampoo and wondered if there was anything else I could try to put a bit of life back in my hair and take the greasy feeling away

Emstheword Fri 14-Nov-14 17:44:46

Bless you, I know how that feels! Lol...."take my hair into her" makes it sound like a wig smile seriously though I really wouldn't worry what she thinks. She can give you different price options so you can decide whether to go lighter or not. Any good salon shampoo should sort out greasiness. I really love the Aveda ones.

burnishedsilver Fri 14-Nov-14 17:53:13

My post baby hair loss continues way too long. The gp suggest taking silica and selenium. I was really surprised at the difference it made. The hair loss stopped fairly quickly and after a month or so I could see little baby hairs growing back.

As for getting you sparkle back, a little fake tan on the face can work wonders.

nilbyname Fri 14-Nov-14 18:06:49

Sea kelp tablets for your hair loss

Save up and get it lightened and get it done with your hairdresser, she know you and your hair, yoj trust her and she will do a good job.

Have an evening messing about with makeup, look on Pinterest, you tube and start figuring out some new looks. I wear a bit more these days, but it looks natural IYSWIM?

Get all your clothes and do the same, think outfits that are simple and you like. Primark have some decent basics to update your wardrobe?

flux500 Fri 14-Nov-14 18:12:35

Hairdressers are used to hair in a bad state poster don't worry! smile

If your hair is very dark she may recommend going lighter in stages. There can be a scary stage which she may describe as 'warmth' and means a gingery colour. But after that stage and some toner you can start to be honey blonde or whatever colour you're thinking of. So imagine it will cost 2 lots of colour and 1 cut and the usual blow dry.

I use the Aussie range and have always been impressed with it. I use the 3 minute miracle every wash and it's brilliant.

Face wise I'm an advocate for botox. It works but it is expensive. My reckoning is you wear your face every day so it's worth it.

SuperFlyHigh Fri 14-Nov-14 18:14:09

I like bronzer to give me colour.

Also try this - it's an SPF but brightening I think, I swear by it...

www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_157005100099_-1

and an illuminating foundation, tons around from £ to £££

SuperFlyHigh Fri 14-Nov-14 18:16:01

I agree with nilbyname but also do a shopping trip round various shops, Zara, Cos, Oasis, Primark etc... and earmark things you like and suit you, maybe a new shade, berry for example?

Then either get a few or earmark for Christmas presents or vouchers. Maybe a new necklace etc... that's a real statement or just pretty but you can wear everyday, with different outfits.

Greengardenpixie Fri 14-Nov-14 18:20:21

well you sound like you really need a pick me up! I had a baby when i was in my early forties. Felt horribly fat and ugly after having her and down in the dumps. Trust me, you have done the right thing to do something about it. Well i would just go to the hairdressers or if you feel too ashamed, then go to a different one! So thats that sorted..now skincare. Plenty of water, sleep and go and get yourself a nice face mask. Give yourself some time and deep condition your hair and wrap it up [while you wait for your appointment] and put the mask on. I love tesco's range. Its pink but its a 5 minute mask in a little tub and its fab and leaves you glowing. After thats done, get a good moisturiser [ i use olay with a touch of max factor] and put it on your face. Some nice new make up...i wear eyeliner, mascara, a bit of blush, do your hair and put on some nice clothes and you will feel tons better. If you dont have anything you think is nice to wear, then again go on and treat yourself to something you like. Think about the colours that may suit you. Ask people about colour therapy on here. It can give your complexion a complete lift just by choosing something that makes you glow.

Greengardenpixie Fri 14-Nov-14 18:21:47

what i meant was instead of just being depressed about it. I can wallow and its better just to take action. [ sounded like i was saying you need to do it!!!!! sorry blush]

Shootthemoon Fri 14-Nov-14 18:23:03

OP I am quite a bit younger but I went through exactly the same thing after my DC was born - lank hair falling out everywhere, and feeling greasy 12 hours after washing. The only thing that worked for me was going SLS-free in shampoos - they just stripped my hair and then put crap back on it which made it greasy. I tried the no 'poo method ('shampoo' with bicarbonate and rinse with dilute apple cider vinegar) but couldn't quite make it work.

I quit BF a year ago, which helped. And I now use a Lush shampoo bar which I think has a bit of SLS but feels and smells great. And no conditioner. My hair is much more manageable but I have never get back to pre-baby standards though.

What about getting a recommendation for a mobile hairdresser to come to the house? Someone you don't know, and a bit cheaper grin

Mouthfulofquiz Fri 14-Nov-14 18:25:49

My hair is terrible - I used to have lovely hair. Then I had a baby (hair fell out), then I had a serious illness which made my hair thinner due to a lot of medication, then I had another baby! Blimey. Best thing I did was get it cut into a one length bob just to get it in decent condition. I have stopped with permanent dye and just do semi permanents at the salon. I would recommend going to a really decent salon if you can afford it, and explaining everything and that you need a style which doesn't require too much heat styling.
I just bought a nice red lip gloss to try and give me a bit of the old sparkle back too - and it's lovely!
Look after your skin if possible - ice decided that if I get 10 mins a day on myself then it's going to be skincare rather than putting on makeup.

Chandon Fri 14-Nov-14 20:20:09

I think Aussie mega shampoo is great . I use the ordinary one (everyday cleaning) which I think is good and leaves no residue.

I am 42 and I recommend getting the best/most expensive hairdresser you can afford.

Better to go 4 times a year to a top notch one than more often to a second rate one.

A good hairdresser should be sympathetic and offer advice.

Time to get the professionals in wink

SmileAndNod Fri 14-Nov-14 20:25:06

It looks like I'll be visiting Holland & Barrett tomorrow then! I too had long and glossy hair until dd1 came along, hence having it chopped into a short bob, but the hair loss is worse this time around. It just feels so yuk all the time. Am going near a Lush on Sunday so will look for shampoo bars too

I have had my colours done they were colours I'd been wearing for years anyway and I do use lovely skin products (elemis). But I'm not seeing any benefits, I still look grey and knackered so I may switch to something cheaper. I don't work so I rely on presents and vouchers to treat myself. I will make an effort to use a mask more regularly though and try to be a bit better at night, instead of just rolling into bed.

Sleep is one thing that I don't get enough of and I can't see that changing anytime soonsad.

Shootthemoon Fri 14-Nov-14 21:13:14

There are some helpful threads on here about going SLS-free; can't hurt to try smile. I had the Holland and Barrett Dr Organic shampoo in tea tree first. Huge fan of Lush though!

Try to get lots of vitamins and minerals - nuts and pulses for fat and protein etc. I share the lack of sleep!

Coconut oil is supposed to be good for a hair mask (and skincare, and you can cook with it). And avocado I think. I chopped my hair from shoulder blade length to chin length which really helped thicken it up (no layers).

You have my sympathy, it sucks! I'm having to try much harder with make up these days.

I think definitely worth seeing a professional about colour too.

happyyonisleepyyoni Fri 14-Nov-14 21:15:47

Hello OP,

I second the suggestion to try dietary supplements, maybe try a multivitamin as well.

Any skincare routine is better than none, There are lots of threads here about bargain products-I use superdrug and Aldi products and find them great.

A change of shampoo/conditioner may help, again no need to spend a fortune but sounds like you may have a buildup of silicones which can make your hair lank. Clarifying shampoos will remove this. If you are naturally dark I'd suggest trying a slightly warmer semipermanent shade of your natural colour.

Try booking a makeup lesson at a Bobbi Brown counter, they will show you how to do a healthy natural look. Warning: The lesson is free but products are £££!

Shootthemoon Fri 14-Nov-14 21:19:12

Oh and with the Lush bars I had Squeaky Green first and now have Karma Komba - they last about six months!

And finally I recently figured out that I wasn't getting the shampoo right to my scalp as I was rushing. The bars help and I take extra time to dry my hair in layers which makes sure it is completely dry. All has helped!

AbsintheMakesTheHeart Fri 14-Nov-14 21:23:38

One word - Nioxin. Expensive, but amazing stuff for hair loss. I think I possibly read about it on here ten years or so ago and I'm still using it now. I had a horrible virus (CMV) that took ages to get over and after it my hair fell out like crazy. I was in despair about where it would all end, but now it's back to normal. (Might have happened anyway? I don't know, but I don't want to risk stopping using it!)

velourvoyageur Fri 14-Nov-14 21:26:37

Choppy bob is so in now and so so cute, if I had the courage I'd go for it, easily my favourite hairstyle right now! lucky you

Anyway. Are you sure you haven't got some type of scalp irritation like dermatitis? The first time my hair started to fall out (dramatically, oh god it was awful!), the doctor just had a quick flick through my hair and declared everything was fine, so I had six months' more hair loss and was totally ouzzled. The dermatologist however had me sorted with a prescription for Nizoral in five minutes which worked like a miracle. I was so relieved, I thought I'd be bald (and I was 16!). I would push for a dermatologist consultation, just in case- or just buy yourself a bottle of Nizoral or Selsun or coal tar shampoo perhaps.

I never look at anyone and think 'what a mess' btw, I bet you're totally underestimating yourself. I also know some very stunning 52ish year olds ;)

ThermoLobster Fri 14-Nov-14 21:32:38

I have not got the thinning hair issue but have had the scared of my own haggard reflection moment. A good haircut is the key I think. I keep mixing it up. I had a fringe last year and have recently gone for an asymmetric bob. I need a style that I can't tie back everyday, otherwise I look old, tired and ugly. And I need lots and lots of hair colour! I am a similar age and my hair has suddenly gone very greasy so I am also trying SLS-free products.

I am v tempted by that Occitane stuff - does it really work?

ameliadoop Fri 14-Nov-14 22:28:15

Totally sympathize, op, I've been there too. Agree with pp that it's time to get the professionals in. Bite the bullet and get yourself to the hairdressers, then invest in some vitamins and a facial. Your hairdresser has seen much worse and can advise you about styles and colours and recommend products for the hair loss. If the dark colour is looking too solid then maybe some very fine highlights could be the way to go? I had this done for my wedding and it looked amazing - the highlights were almost invisible but my hair looked much thicker and healthier. Let us know how you get on.

mamakoukla Fri 14-Nov-14 23:10:53

Loads of great advice and encouragement! Just go ahead and enjoy being you again.

Re the hairdresser - I am the worst offender for this but the hairdresser will be the best person to offer you help :-) don't be embarrassed, just call and book an appointment. I had my post-baby post-stress caused hair to fall out post-growing my dyed hair out cut in the spring. It took me almost six months to book the appointment. My hair looks healthy again, and the shorter style has been greatly admired (feathers puffed up a but there). A hairdresser is trained to help with these things.

(nudges OP out of door to the hairdresser's)

MrsHoolie Fri 14-Nov-14 23:42:42

Paul Mitchell Shampoo 2 is great for greasy hair. You don't need much,but do shampoo it twice.
And dry shampoo can help to give a bit of oomph. Use one that matches the colour of your hair as these are much better and won't make it look grey. (Batiste range)

Greengardenpixie Sat 15-Nov-14 10:07:43

A change of products either for skin and hair can be good and make all the difference. The most important thing is to take time for yourself. Vitamins are good but imo eating plenty of fruit and veg is way more important and you will see quicker results. vitamins are a suppement not instead of a good diet. Im sure at 43 you know tha anyway!

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